Monday, August 24, 2009

Pencils Down!

The new school year is here and parents KNOW what that means.
Paperwork. And lots of it.
This year is no exception. The teachers have again lobbed homework at the parents - giving us permission slips to sign, legal releases to initial and new rules to remember. And Bridget and I have three kids, which is like...cross out the two, carry the one...double the work.
I wouldn't mind except that Bridget expects me to help.
"Hypothetically speaking," Bridget said, "You're fifty percent of the parents in this house - not twenty-five percent of the kids."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I demanded.
"You're one of the parents..." she started.
I stopped her. "No, I meant "hypothetically". What does that mean?"
I was going to continue watching "Cheaters", but then I spied the questions on one of the colored papers we had to fill out for Riley's kindergarten teacher. It was one of those questionnaires where you describe your kid to her new teacher.
"What," it asked, "is one of your child's favorite things to do?"
I grabbed a pencil.
"Riley enjoys installing NOX in her Power Wheels Barbie Jeep, heading down to Daytona for the weekend and racing for pinks. I guess you could say that she lives life a quarter mile at a time."
I was starting to enjoy myself now.
"What is one of your child's least favorite things to do?"
Hmmm. "Power washing the house. She always cries about how the power washer is too big and it hurts her arms but I think when she looks at the clean house and driveway at the end of those eight hours, she probably feels the same pride I do."
Bridget took my pencil.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pee On It!

    I've been on vacation for the last couple of weeks. I live in Florida, so I don't actually have to fly anywhere to visit a tropical paradise filled with exotic locales, strange plants and fascinating animals. Basically, I just walk out my door and - bam! - I'm standing in a friggin' paradise.
    In turns out, ironically, that the only inconvenient thing about living and vacationing in Florida is the exotic locales, strange plants and fascinating animals.
    On my second day of vacation, for example, I stepped on a Sea Urchin while climbing onto the stern ladder of my father-in-law's boat. I don't recommend it. It really hurts. It kinda feels like stepping on 20 needles and then breaking them off in your foot. Mostly because that's actually what you're doing.
    I did learn something interesting about the Internet, though, as I sat on the boat wincing in pain. While my wife and mother-in-law used tweezers to pull urchin spines out of the sole of my foot, I used my phone to surf the Internet and pull up information about treating urchin spine impalements. And that's when I learned this:
    The cure for everything on the Internet involves peeing on it.
    Punctured by urchin spines? Pee on it. Sunburn? Pee on it. Jellyfish sting? Pee on it. Shark bite? Pee on it. Cancer? Pee on it.
    Because I'm one of those deluded fools who worships science at the cost of ignoring the homeopathic bounty that nature provides, I chose to go with antibiotics instead.
    My children are like-minded. The other day our lilliputian Boston Terrier bit into a toads in our yard. This started a mini-panic in our house because Florida is home to Bufo toads whose skin secretes a venom that deadly to small dogs. And our dog loves to chomp some amphibians.
    Nine year-old Gabriel examined our dog and pronounced everything okay. As he cradled the dog, he cooed to her.
    "You know what cures Bufo venom, Marnie?"
    The dog looked uncomfortable. I stifled the urge to yell out, "Pee on it!"
    "Love," Gabriel answered. "Love and lots and lots of drugs."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

...And That's a Fascist Belt

The current political conversation summed up:

Obama: Thousands of people die every year because our current insurance system is inadequate. In addition, tens of thousands of families go bankrupt even if they have insurance. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that we need to discuss how to fix this before it breaks America socially and financially. What do you think?
Crazy People: That is a very, very important issue but your zipper is down.
Obama: Oh,, wait, my zipper is up.
Crazy People: No, your zipper is down.
Obama: I just checked it. My zipper is up.
Crazy People: You've never shown proof that your zipper is up.
Obama:You and I are standing three feet apart and both of us can see that my zipper is clearly up.
Crazy People: (Pause) Those are socialist pants.